Links and comments, April 9
By webmink on Apr 08, 2009
- Video of police assault on Ian Tomlinson, who died at the London G20 protest
The guy was unfortunate enough to have the protest in his way as he made his way home from work selling newspapers at Monument (by the Sun office). The video clearly shows a police stormtrooper clubbing him then thrusting him to the ground, from behind. The Sun office administrator warned us about the protest happening and told us of the risk of harm from protestors; we weren't warned that the greatest risk was actually from the police.
- Copyright assignment and other barriers to entry
A fine analysis of the issues around contributor agreements. Organisations that require them are either not interested in collaborating with competing co-developers in their open source communities or have allowed legal conservatism to lead their decision process.
- GPL's cloudy future
Great article by Jeremy Allison of Samba fame (now at Google) on why the GPL can't guarantee freedom now cloud computing is back in vogue and why AGPL is the only way to promote software freedom. I note that AGPL is considered not-a-license by Google and barred from their properties - go figure.
- Tree Wagers
Sun's Java team wants to contribute improvements to the TreeMap code back to Apache Harmony. Tim Ellison, the project lead, had bet £500 that Sun would never do this.
- The Most Dangerous Person in the World?
If you want to be made safe by having the government protect you against the most probable risks, this is the guide for you. Spoiler: The government's anti-privacy policies may well be doing exactly this.
- Going to work on the Hill
Pia Waugh gets a job advising an Australian Senator on FOSS. Fantastic news, both for Pia and for Australia.
- Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world
Excellent and very readable article by Taleb suggests that Einstein was right to say that the thinking that got us into this mess isn't going to get us out again.
- Spam overwhelms e-mail messages
I am amazed that in the reportage no-one has pointed out that it is the failure of Microsoft's own software that is to blame for the vast majority of the problem - security inadequacy leading to zombie Windows accounts leading to botnets. What's more, the end-of-support of XP means no further improvements will be made to the majority of systems causing the problem. Proves once again that when you are aware of your weaknesses you should play from them and not apologize for them. Unless, of course, you have a soul.